BHA calls for ‘immediate inquiry' into OTAs

BHA calls for ‘immediate inquiry' into OTAs

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has welcomed a report from the House of Lords, which recommends greater accountability and transparency of online travel agents (OTAs).

The report from the House of Lords Select Committee – Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market – is a response to the EU Commission consultation on how the largest online platforms use their market power and whether current regulation and competition law is effective in the digital economy.

The report recommends:

- Critical scrutiny by competition authorities of parity clauses and recommends that the CMA urgently order a market investigation into the online travel sector;

- A speedier process for resolving competition law questions, proposing interim measures be used to stop anti – competitive practices, time limits be applied to negotiations and the development of sector based codes of practice;

- Recommends the European Commission amend the Unfair Consumer Practices Directive so that platforms are required to provide the criteria on which they provide ratings and search results and their policies for handling negative reviews, as well as clearly distinguishing between user reviews and paid promotions.

The BHA welcomed the report and has called for an ‘immediate inquiry' by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) into OTAs.

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From 21st April 2016

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